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Day: February 4, 2013

I shouldn’t be crying. I shouldn’t be crying. I’m crying.

No advert should ever make a grown man cry. It’s just a stupid advert. Adverts are not real. However here I am constantly refreshing a YouTube video and every time I well up as it is such so perfect.

The Super Bowl was last night and as you know it is not just about the actual game – the adverts are kinda important too. Companies spend millions not only on the advertising space but also on the actual adverts (and the think tanks beforehand) in an attempt to find an advert that will resonate with the viewers. Anheuser-Busch nailed it last night with their Budweiser brand and their advert about a man and a horse. You can see the advert below and to watch full screen please click here

From nailing the background track which was the wonderful and haunting Landslide by Fleetwood Mac to the storyline itself. It was just sheer perfection in an advert. It wasn’t about beer it was about emotion and it is the advert everyone is talking about today. I noticed Yahoo wrote today the following about this ad:

OH COME ON. Are you kidding me? Super Bowl commercials aren’t supposed to make you cry! They’re supposed to make you laugh or cringe or go reload your plate. This? This ad makes you want to call your parents, hug your kids, and maybe just buy a horse. Flat-out winner out of the gate. Going to be a lot of people dabbing their eyes with cocktail napkins when this one airs.

Exactly. This was the slam dunk winner. I don’t drink and if I did it certainly wouldn’t be Budweiser but if I did then I’d go out and buy a crate just on the strength of the advert. Yes I know Budweiser has no effect on the bond between you and your loved ones – whether they be human or animal – but I do know that the name Budweiser would go in my head when I went to buy some beer if that is the type of thing I did.

Brand identity is just as important as taste in this market and suddenly after dips in sales the brand of Budweiser is sky high once again. If you ask people in the States today what they think of Budweiser they’ll say different things today than they did yesterday. They’ll say far nicer things. Just wonderful and emotive.

As for the other adverts it wasn’t a vintage year but the farmer advert for Dodge Ram Trucks was pretty striking and the Best Buy advert with Amy Poehler was also very good (both embedded below) but that Budweiser advert won the Super Bowl adverts and in all honesty it wasn’t even close.


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So an Eastleigh by-election is upon us. Can the Lib Dems hold on…?

They say you’ll never find a poor bookie. Well as the books open on the Eastleigh by-election one thing is clear – they have no idea who’ll win this by-election. You can get both the Lib Dems and the Tories at odds-on and also odds against. It is a straight two-horse race as it just isn’t a Labour area and the big question we’ll see for the first time in this new political climate is the effect of UKIP on a Tory/LD marginal.

I wrote last year that UKIP could actually be the saviour of the Lib Dems in 2015. It sounds mad but a strong UKIP could work very much if the Lib Dems favour. The majority of Lib Dem seats in the south are very much in Tory/LD marginals. Heck most of the marginals that the Lib Dems are in are with the Tories in the south. Now I hypothesise that a strong UKIP will pick up more votes from the Tories than they do the Lib Dems. Yes there will be Lib Dem protest votes that disappear to UKIP but the question is will these be more or less than those votes from disaffected Tories?

It should be noted that in the pathetic Police and Crime Commissioner Elections that in the borough of Eastleigh (which isn’t strictly the constituency ward but is the majority of) that the Lib Dem candidate got the most votes with the independent candidate second, Tories third and Labour fourth. The council is made up of 40 Lib Dems and Four Tories. No other party is represented. In 2012 Eastleigh actually saw two LD gains. So this is an area where the Lib Dem vote is strong and is holding up.

Chris Huhne took over the seat in 2005 and just about held on but in 2010 he increased his 600 odd majority to just short of 4,000. The seat was a three-way marginal but Labour’s portion of the vote has dissipated since their high point in the 1997 massacre where they were still a good 5,000 short of winning in Eastleigh. Labour are not winning Eastleigh so don’t throw your money away. This is now a two-way marginal with UKIP being the interesting party to watch.

I don’t think Chris Huhne’s actions will hurt too much with the electorate. It won’t help for sure but if the Lib Dems put forward a good local candidate who speaks well and campaigns hard then they it shouldn’t be a huge issue. I don’t see the Huhne personal vote as a big one. Just watching VoxPops on the local news and the general consensus is that he was an idiot and they are very disappointed in him personally – but not disappointed in the party.

This is without a shadow of a doubt the first by-election that will actually show something of this parliament. I know George Galloway won in Bradford West but that was very much a protest vote against Labour and an excellent local campaign. If The Lib Dems lose Eastleigh then they might well be in real trouble in 2015 but if David Cameron can’t take Eastleigh then there will be a large section of his party that will think they can’t win an outright majority in 2015.

Labour should sit back and watch the carnage and basically work out their 2015 strategy in large based on this. This by-election will be the largest indicator that we’ll get to how the Lib Dem vote is holding up against the Tories and in turn how UKIP will influence these vital Tory/LD marginal. After this by-election we’ll know so much more but for now all we can do is speculate and watch the drama unfold. Oh and Phone Bank, Phone Bank, Phone Bank…

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The lamentable demise of Chris Huhne

Well what can you say? You sleep in because you were up until gone 4AM watching Super Bowl XLVII and you wake up to Chris Huhne changing his plea to guilty and all hell breaking loose. Obviously due to the ongoing trial I can’t type too much about the case only that Chris Huhne is clearly a moron and thought that he could lie and bully his way out of a problem.

The sad thing about all of this is that is was so needless. If you are going to break the law in such a small way (speeding) then all lying about it does is give it a chance to come back and bite you in the bum at a later date. Yes getting a driving ban would be annoying as hell for a driver but some of us don’t drive through choice and you know what – we manage to get to places we need to get to. Just because you can’t drive doesn’t mean the world stops turning. It isn’t that great a thing in the grand scheme of things.

Chris Huhne was clearly a very gifted MP and his work as Energy & Climate Change Secretary was really quite impressive. His performance at the Cancun Climate Change Conference was one of the best things any coalition cabinet member has done so far despite the fact it was not widely reported on. He was certainly the best positioned MP to challenge Nick Clegg as leader (Tim Farron’s position as not having been in cabinet probably hurts him in reality) and I know personally of Lib Dems who were desperate for Huhne to be found not guilty and then run at Nick Clegg sooner rather than later. However this will now not be the case.

Nick Clegg’s rather terse statement today saying he was ‘shocked and saddened’ and that Huhne had done ‘absolutely the right thing’ in resigning as an MP. What Nick Clegg wanted to say was that he was extremely pissed off with Huhne for lying about speeding and not only that, he compounded the lie by reiterating his innocence time and time again. Chris Huhne has been a thorn in Nick Clegg’s side for several years now and whilst he has now removed that thorn he has been left with one giant headache.

Now all that is waiting for Huhne is time at Her Majesty’s Pleasure. His career in tatters but he’s a millionaire who’ll do ok when he comes out but just not in politics. What disappoints me most about all of this is both Huhne doing it in the first place but secondly about how confident and dismissive he was when the charges were originally brought against him. He was so confident he would never be charged and then that it’d never reach trial that he has come across as a rather arrogant and nasty man. I don’t even recall him apologising for his actions today (although he may have not been able to say much because of the ongoing trial of his ex-wife) but still.

So Chris Huhne is going down but will the Lib Dems go down in Eastleigh? I’ll look into that later today…

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